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Tim Schafer wants Grim Fandango Remastered to be the ultimate “Criterion” edition

When Sony announced that it was bringing Tim Schafer's classic adventure game Grim Fandango to PS4, people were understandably excited. It's one of the games people point to when talking about the genre. Because the 1998 game is hard to find and even harder to get running on modern computers, it seemed we'd never get a chance to explore the film noir-drenched underworld of Manny Calavera without succumbing to more… dubious methods. And while the remastered update is still a ways off, Tim Schafer plans to give his game the "Criterion" treatment.

If you're not familiar with the film company, the Criterion Collection is known for preserving films and presenting them in a way that the directors originally intended, while using modern technology to make a movie look as clean and crisp as possible. Since many of the artists and designers on Grim Fandango consider it a very film-like experience, they want to take a similar approach to the remastered version of their game. Similar to how you wouldn't want someone to add CGI enhancements to the film classic Casablanca, Double Fine doesn't want to go off the deep end over-embellishing the improvements to Grim Fandango. It wants to keep the original 4:3 aspect ratio and maintain the same graphical scale, while making the game look as great as possible.

That's not to say enhancements won't be made. Double Fine is experimenting with different control schemes, letting players tackle the game with point-and-click controls, improved joystick mapping, or the original "tank" controls from 1998. You should also expect high-res textures, rearranged symphonic adaptations of most of the songs from the iconic soundtrack, and many of the special features you'd come to expect from a "Criterion-like" release. Meaning: you can probably expect a making-of documentary, a bundle of concept art, and--possibly--a commentary mode. After all, Schafer did mention the dev team "loves to talk."

A version of Grim Fandango is currently running on PS4 hardware, but as the team is still scouring archives and trying to get the best quality source material for this remaster, a final version is still a long way from release. That said, just knowing that we'll get another chance to explore the Land of the Dead on modern hardware is a good enough reason to be excited.

10 comments

  • Angelus97 - September 3, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    Monkey Island has been remastered and Grim Fandango is coming. Hopefully Tim Schafer will decide to work on Full Throttle and Day of the Tentacle next!
  • alllifeinfate - September 17, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    I second that notion! :D I'm waiting for it to come on PC as it is supposed to...
  • Felxon - September 2, 2014 4:55 a.m.

    Never been able to get very far in this game, as it would always become very unstable on my PC after an hour or so... too bad I'm not planning on getting a PS4
  • David_Roberts - September 2, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    It's coming to PC and Vita as well!
  • Felxon - September 2, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    !! ! OvO ! !!
  • Rhymenocerous - September 1, 2014 2:24 a.m.

    I'll stick with the tank controls I think. Since the very first Resident Evil, it's a system I never had a problem with. Up is forwards - simple. I'm surprised they're keeping the 4:3 ratio, although I admire their obvious love of their content.
  • Superdude576 - August 31, 2014 7:27 p.m.

    No 360/Xbox One love?
  • Jib-47 - August 31, 2014 8:58 p.m.

    Nope, doesn't look like it. From what I can tell Sony is footing the bill on this one.
  • Superdude576 - September 1, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    Oh well. At least a classic game is being revitalized.

Showing 1-10 of 10 comments

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